Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gabriel is Here!!

Gabriel Christian Rasch was born yesterday, February 25th at 9:39 p.m. He is 21 inches long and 7lbs, 12 oz. Labor and delivery went exceedingly well and we are so excited to welcome Gabe into our family!!!

We arrived at the hospital at 8 a.m. Shawn dropped me off at the entrance while he went to park the car. I checked in and the nurses helped me get ready for my induction. They hooked me up to an IV and Dr. Howick came in to check on me. In the mean time, Shawn and I started a game of Scrabble. About an hour later the nurses came in and started my Pitocin. After about an hour and a half of absolutely no contractions Dr. Howick came back and broke my water. I quickly became a smaller version of Niagra Falls. The 24 inches + of fluid that was in the amniotic sac seemed to flow en masse forever. My contractions then began almost immediately. They weren't bad, but by no means were they comfortable. They started about a minute apart and then quickly went to about 20-30 seconds apart. I didn't have time to breathe. After about an hour the nurses came in and suggested that I get the epidural soon as I needed to be able to hold still for it to be done. I agreed and within a half hour the CRNA appeared to give me the fabulous drugs. It didn't take a whole lot of time, though she did comment that I was the first patient that she had who giggled when she was having contractions. Within five minutes I couldn't feel a thing. It was beautiful!! The next 9 hours were lovely and pain free. I napped and watched sit coms all day. I also starved. The last few hours they decided to put me on oxygen to try and help Gabe as he was becoming stressed after most of my contractions. In the last two hours I rolled back and forth and back and forth as we attempted to find a position that would help me finish dialating while at the same time reducing Gabe's stress. Eventually, I began to feel the pressure of Gabe pushing down on my pelvic floor. They checked to see if I was ready, but unfortunately the right side of my cervix seemingly refused to finish dialating that last half centimeter. Dr. Brown (the on call doctor) came in and was contemplating a C-section when I seemed to finish opening up and they decided I should start pushing. It was about 9:05 p.m. at that time. So I started. Eventually the room filled. Shawn, Aunt Patty and I, my nurse, the doctor, a couple of other nurses, the resident, and a med student were all there. While I pushed, my nurse stretched me and counted and Shawn stood at my head helping support my back and also counting. Eventually the med student and resident also began counting as they didn't seem to know what else to do. (I think they felt a little awkward just taking up space.) They even became my own little cheering squad. It was quite entertaining. I was having a hard time not laughing as I pushed because of it. (I should note at this point that I was feeling absolutely no pain whatsoever, it was quite beautiful.) After about 8 pushes I felt Gabe head down my pelvic bone and stop after just crowning. Then I had the longest wait for a contraction I had had all day. I was honestly a little worried that another one wasn't going to come. He started moving though and they told me to push. I started, he started to come out, they told me to stop (his cord was wrapped around his neck once). They fixed the problem and told me to push and in one push Shawn and I had a new son!! They handed him to me for a moment before taking him over to measure and weigh him.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

End Week 39, Beginning Week 40

So here we are. It is Tuesday the 24th. I went in for an appointment last Thursday. I was slightly more dialated, but nothing else was happening. We scheduled our next appointment for today the 24th. On Sunday night, around 3 am while I was wandering about the house unable to sleep, I had some very real, very intense contractions. The full on, this baby is going to kick your butt kind. It was rough, I called for Shawn and then decided it would not be nice to wake him up if they weren't real, since he had to work at 6 am. That was a better decision as it turned out there were only a couple of them.

We went in at 8:30 am today for another ultrasound and non stress test. Gabe was busy hanging out in there, making funny faces. My fluid measured 24 inches. A couple of inches higher than it should be, but it's better than having too little fluid. It seems Gabe has to pee a lot. We went up for the non stress test, where everything was fine and I finally figured out that I have been having some contractions lately that I wasn't too sure about. Usually they hurt a bit, and I had been having some that didn't so I was very confused. I guess they were real. The doctor came in and checked my cervix. I am fully at 3 cm and almost 100% effaced. We are supposed to call at around 5:30-6:00 am tomorrow and tell them we are coming in for inducement. We will get there sometime before 7 am and they will set me up with an IV and some potocin. Dr. Howick will break my water and we'll get things going!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Mid-Week 39

Well, I had thought that not a whole lot was going on. The membrane stripping did not seem to do its job. I'm still completely and utterly pregnant. On Saturday I went to take Maggie in for a pedicure (so as not to scratch the baby after he came) and I fell. She got away from me when I opened the car door and when I tried to grab her leash I fell. My knees took the brunt of it but I still landed on my belly. I felt alright, but when I got into the store and they told me that they couldn't do Maggie's nails because her vaccinations had expired on the 1st, I lost it and just couldn't stop crying. Apparently the fall had jarred me a bit more than I had realized. The baby is fine though and so am I.

Everyone at work was amazed when I showed up this morning at work. They were all convinced that I would have had him over the weekend. That didn't really happen. However during the first part of second hour I realized that I hadn't felt him move since Saturday so I decided to stop studying (it was P.E., I have lots of free time that hour) and wait to feel him move. Needless to say, he did not move. I went to third hour and kept watching and waiting and he still wasn't moving so my two supervisors told me to call my doctor. I called Shawn (I had forgotten my phone at home) to get Dr. Howick's number. He gave it to me and I called. My nurse said that I should drink something sugary and that she would call me back after she talked to my doctor. I ran upstairs, bought a caffeine free soda, and drank it quickly. My nurse called me back and told me to come in at 12:15 to check in for an ultrasound at 12:30. Afterward we were supposed to go upstairs for a non-stress test and then an appointment with the doctor. Shawn came and picked me up and we went into the ultrasound. He passed the 8 point test with flying colors. There is 22 inches of fluid, his heart rate was good, he was moving (I couldn't feel it) and practice breathing and all of that jazz. We went upstairs and they hooked me up to a fetal monitor and we watched his heartrate and to see if I was having any contractions. His heartrate was really steady and he wasn't moving a whole lot so they gave me juice and put some sort of vibration/sound thing on my belly to try and wake him up. I felt him move twice and then he went back to "sleeping." After awhile, the nurse tried the sound thing again and he moved once but then relaxed again. Apparently he is extremely comfortable in there. The doctor came in and looked at the readout from the machine and told me that I am actually having regular contractions that are 2-3 minutes apart, but that they aren't strong enough to feel yet. She put me on official bed rest. She had no idea what the membrane thing was from last week. She said she had never heard of that before. So now I am at home, resting, and waiting to actually feel these contractions I seem to be having. Our next visit is Thursday at 9:30 am. We'll see how it goes!

Week 38

We got quite a bit done this week. We are almost finished painting the nursery. I'm working on the trim around the door and the door itself as well as a little strip of white around the built in shelf that Shawn made. The trim everywhere else in the room is finished and put up. Shawn put the crib together. There was a recall on our crib for a specific part. However, the recall was for about 535,000 cribs so the new part is on backorder. It's a good thing that we have a separate crib in our room that Gabe will be using for the first couple of months.

We had a doctors appointment on Thursday. I was still dialated at 2 cm, and not a whole lot was going on. My doctor stripped my membrane and it seems that I found part of it the next day. However, there weren't any other changes. I didn't even know what stripping the membrane was. When we got to the appointment, Shawn told me that a bunch of his co-workers told him that I should have my membrane stripped. So we asked our doctor about it and she explained it to us and said she would do it if we wanted her to. It didn't really hurt, even though everything I read said it was painful. I'm not sure what all of those other women were talking about, I was feeling more pressure from her checking my dialation than I was feeling anything else. The doctor said that about 75% of women go into labor within three days of having this done. I asked Shawn if he wanted to hedge bets.

Friday at work it was RAD day. It is basically a planned fun day for the students with various activities that they can sign up for. I went with a group that went bowling in the morning and rock climbing in the afternoon. I bowled three games in the morning with the other three teachers that were chaperoning with me. I actually won one of the like a point. I was hoping that all the movement would help get things going. Alas, it did not. However, I was very sore the rest of the day. Shawn called in the afternoon while I was at the rock climbing session. He was headed into the doctor because he has pink eye. Go figure. I could go into labor at any moment and my hubby goes and gets pink eye.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Week 37

This was quite the week. My birthday was Saturday the 31st. We woke up, took Maggie to the dog park where she wore herself out running around, went to breakfast and then came home to work on the nursery. Shawn gave me a pregnant precious moments figure. On the 4th we celebrated Shawn's birthday. I worked and then came home to eat pizza, cake and ice cream with Shawn. Shawn got the third installment of the Inheritance trilogy (which is apparently now going to be a four part series...).

On the 5th we went to our ultrasound where we found out that Gabe has his father's nose and adorable toes. Apparently my placenta is getting "old" and the sonographer showed us all of the gross stuff floating around in there. She said it looked like my water may break soon as everything is beginning to shrivel. My doctor said that all of these fluids have an expiration date. They are made to last 40 weeks which is interesting and explains how you can lose your baby if the doctors let you go too long past your due date. I can only hope that the sonographer is right and that Gabe is headed our way. I need a break from work. Everyone is getting cranky and a bit unpleasant and I just need to get out of the fray. After work that day we headed over to the hospital for the child safety class. Shawn apparently has quite the knack for installing car seats. He got it right the first time which seems to be quite unusual. So we are almost officially ready to bring baby home. The car seat is installed, the stroller is put together and waiting. We just need to put the crib together.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Week 36

So in some ways, we seem to have slowed down for a bit, but in others we're headed straight for a new baby. As of Sunday, breastfeeding will not be an issue. Gabe will definitely be fed on a regular basis. We went in for our weekly visit on Thursday. I'm still dialated at 2 cm, but I am apparently measuring larger than I should be and so we are scheduled for an ultrasound next week to check out Gabe's size. After our appointment we went on a tour of the family birthing center. It is quite nice and has two family waiting rooms, a private operating room and a couple of kitchens that are kept stocked for patient access. We went in with our paperwork already done and having read the booklets concerning the birthing process at this particular center as well as vaccines. The tour guide was particularly impressed by all of this. We got a gift bag from the clinic and I went back to work. I was really sore and tired after my visit. I am really exhausted lately and standing for more than five minutes makes me really sore. Oh, I don't know how I'm going to handle him getting bigger in there. How on earth will I be able to walk! The good news is, he seems to like hanging out in proper birthing position, so as long as he still plans on coming out the regular way, he's ready to go.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Week 35

Well, things just keep getting more and more interesting! We went to childbirth classes and a breastfeeding class this week. Shawn got to wear the fun pregnancy belly which was rather interesting. I have pictures that I'll upload one of these days. The funny thing was that the belly was 35 lbs and I've only gained about 12 so far and they wanted to put a band around his ribs to constrict his breathing a little, but apparently I am tall enough that, that was never really a problem for me. (He ended up not wearing the band because he has had broken ribs in the past.) They showed this horrid video showing three women giving birth with three different birth plan options. It was a bit graphic and I couldn't watch it because quite frankly I'll be doing it myself soon enough and I don't need to see it. I'll experience it plenty. Other than that, the class was great. There was this list of things that your body does as it preps for labor and I was able to check off all of the things on the list....go figure. The breastfeeding class on the other hand was not nearly as helpful as my lactation consultant at WIC had already given me all of the information that the class provided. Even Shawn felt like it was a bit of a wasted evening. Oh well, the rest of the classes we took were really good.

Yesterday at the beginning of 7th hour my body decided to start contracting continuously. That was fun. It started and just kept on going, and going, and going. They were definitely braxton-hicks contractions because they were all different lengths of time and really, really close together (30 seconds to a minute apart). They kept up for about 30 minutes. It was rough. I just sat at the back of the classroom praying that no one noticed me back there breathing deeply and acting a bit strange. That would be about the time my supervisor called me out to the hall. Needless to say, it was a bit difficult to get up because I was in the middle of a contraction. I tried. And failed. After breathing through it, I went out with her and explained why I looked so funny when she opened the door. I went to work at Lane Bryant after school where I probably stood for longer than I should have because by the time I finished checking out our last customer I started to have this really strange sensation of ice cold water being poured over my lower abdomen. It was very, very wierd.

I went to my doctor appointment today where, after telling her about my contractions she decided to check and see if I was dialating. I am officially at 2 centimeters. (Yes, I know you can stay there for several weeks - a fact we discussed with the doctor). However, she told me that if I started having contractions like I did yesterday that I should probably call and come in to be checked again. She made me call in to Lane Bryant and tell them I can't work anymore and told me that I can't do any shopping or standing for extended amounts of time this week in an attempt to convince Gabe that he should hang in there for at least 7 more days. She was going to make me stop working at the school but I convinced her to let me stay as long as I sit most of the day. Thankfully this isn 't a problem as everyone there is most understanding while at the same time being desperate for us paras to be there (there are lots of people gone lately without any substitutes available). So we have an appointment for next Thursday as well as a scheduled tour of the hospital in the event that Gabriel stays in that long.